Wisconsin’s Primary Election

DAMARIS MALDONADO | maldo026@rangers.uwp.edu

CHELSEA STREBE |  streb001@rangers.uwp.edu

Importance of Voting in Primaries

Voting in any election is impactful and important, but the primaries hold a special significance. As registered voters, you are choosing who will be represented in the general election.

The primaries allow voters to become more influential instead of the party leaders.

Wisconsin is an open primary, which means that voters are allowed to vote in either party, regardless of their party affiliation.

It’s also important to note that if you are currently 17 years old and will be at least 18 years old by the general election date, you are able to vote in the primaries as well.

The Candidates

The Republican candidates for the primaries are Businessman Donald Trump (New York), Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), and Gov. John Kasich (Ohio). Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (New York) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont) are close competitors in the Democratic election.

Trump is currently in the lead for the GOP party, and Clinton is in the lead for the democratic nomination.

Voting Process

Wisconsin’s primary election date is coming up on April 5th, the first Tuesday of the month. Election Day will be November 8th this coming winter.  

If you are not a registered voter, you can register by mail, in your municipal clerk’s office, or at the polls on Election Day.

Where you can vote depends on where you claim your residency. As a college student, that can be difficult to determine when living on campus. The Government Accountability Board’s website, www.gab.wi.gov, gives specific information on how to register as a college student. More information is available at myvote.wi.gov about registering.

Identification Requirements

This election will be the first major election where the new strict identification laws in Wisconsin will be enforced.  A voter must show their photo ID at the ballot to cast a vote.

While this is set in place to protect the voting system, there is an argument that these laws should not exist because of the difficulty for some people to get a photo ID. For example, those who cannot afford $25 for an ID.

Wisconsin has implemented ways to bypass that fee by bringing the necessary documents to the Divisions of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Those documents include a birth certificate, a Social Security card, and a utility or cell phone bill.

Every vote counts. Make it a priority to vote in Wisconsin’s primary.

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